Return to the Chartres index page
Panel 19 - A murderous innkeeper welcomes three students to his inn
Panel 19 - The murderous innkeeper and the three students (left panel of pair)
Three students (in some versions, three young clerics) arrive at an inn, where the innkeeper and his wife make them welcome, but then murder them in their bed, dismembering their corpses and salting them in a barrel with the intention of later selling the meat as bacon. This gruesome precursor to Sweeney Todd ends with St Nicholas visiting the inn, where he miraculously pulls the three young men alive and intact from the barrel where their butchered remains had been secreted. The innkeeper and his wife then repent of their sins and become good Christians.

The story here has been condensed down to just the first two episodes - the students arriving at the inn and their murder, omitting the all important miracle. A slightly fuller version also appears in another of the St Nicholas windows at Chartres - bay 14, panels 21-23.